Passage: Genesis 12, 13, 14 (RSV)


Genesis 12


1Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.
2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
3I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves."
4So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
5And Abram took Sar'ai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the persons that they had gotten in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan,
6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
7Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
8Thence he removed to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
9And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
10Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.
11When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sar'ai his wife, "I know that you are a woman beautiful to behold;
12and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, `This is his wife'; then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
13Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account."
14When Abram entered Egypt the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.
15And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, he-asses, menservants, maidservants, she-asses, and camels.
17But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sar'ai, Abram's wife.
18So Pharaoh called Abram, and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19Why did you say, `She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her, and be gone."
20And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him; and they set him on the way, with his wife and all that he had.

Genesis 13


1So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
2Now Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.
3And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai,
4to the place where he had made an altar at the first; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.
5And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents,
6so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together,
7and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. At that time the Canaanites and the Per'izzites dwelt in the land.
8Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen; for we are kinsmen.
9Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."
10And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw that the Jordan valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zo'ar; this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomor'rah.
11So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan valley, and Lot journeyed east; thus they separated from each other.
12Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, while Lot dwelt among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.
13Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.
14The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;
15for all the land which you see I will give to you and to your descendants for ever.
16I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your descendants also can be counted.
17Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you."
18So Abram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron; and there he built an altar to the LORD.

Genesis 14


1In the days of Am'raphel king of Shinar, Ar'ioch king of Ella'sar, Ched-or-lao'mer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goi'im,
2these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomor'rah, Shinab king of Admah, Sheme'ber king of Zeboi'im, and the king of Bela (that is, Zo'ar).
3And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea).
4Twelve years they had served Ched-or-lao'mer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5In the fourteenth year Ched-or-lao'mer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Reph'aim in Ash'teroth-karna'im, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Sha'veh-kiriatha'im,
6and the Horites in their Mount Se'ir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness;
7then they turned back and came to Enmish'pat (that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amal'ekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Haz'azon-ta'mar.
8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomor'rah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboi'im, and the king of Bela (that is, Zo'ar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim
9with Ched-or-lao'mer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goi'im, Am'raphel king of Shinar, and Ar'ioch king of Ella'sar, four kings against five.
10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomor'rah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the mountain.
11So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomor'rah, and all their provisions, and went their way;
12they also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.
13Then one who had escaped came, and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of Abram.
14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus.
16Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.
17After his return from the defeat of Ched-or-lao'mer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18And Mel-chiz'edek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.
19And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth;
20and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!"
21And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself."
22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, maker of heaven and earth,
23that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, `I have made Abram rich.'
24I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me; let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share."



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